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Over the recent years our legal system has been plagued with court fee consultation, legal aid cuts, tender on criminal duty contracts, Jackson reforms to funding and shortages in pro-bono facilities. As you may be aware, on the 16th July 2015, it was announced that both Halifax Courts are among the 91 Courts under consultation for CLOSURE!

In Halifax we currently administer both Civil and Criminal matters at:

• County Court and Family Court;

• Halifax (Calderdale) Magistrates’ and Family Court

In his announcement, Justice Minister Shailesh Vara MP said it was his intention to “reform” the courts and tribunals in England and Wales. As such, the planned reforms are in the form of a consultation for the proposed closure of 91 courts and tribunals.

The Halifax and Huddersfield Junior Lawyers have started a “Save Our Court” campaign to alert people to the detrimental impact court closures will have to Calderdale. If the closures are successful, the court services will be transferred to Bradford Combined Court.

According to the Office of National Statistics, Calderdale has a population of 203,800. This does not take into account law firms, businesses or commuters all of which will be affected by these proposals. With this in mind, we strongly believe that the removal of court services will impinge and diminish Access to Justice in Calderdale.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

1. PLEASE - sign the https://www.change.org/p/ministry-of-justice-save-halifax-county-court-and-family-court-and-halifax-calderdale-magistrates-and-family-court-from-closure ">“Save Our Court” petition and make your voice heard on these important changes to our local courts system.

2. SHARE – once you have signed the petition, please share this with your friends and colleagues, if you tweet – don’t forget to add #saveourcourts

3. GET INVOLVED – spread the word… if it doesn’t affect you now, if may affect one of your friends or colleagues and perhaps in the future… this will affect you. If you are on twitter, follow us at @SaveOurCourt

4. CONSULTATION – click the link below, print pages 20 and 21, provide your responses to the 6 questions and email or post your response to HMCTS Consultation Ministry of Justice.

The full consultation paper can be viewed here.

The timer on the 12 week consultation process has started and we have until the 8th October 2015 to respond formally to the consultation. Our local legal community needs to stand strong and object to the closures and fight to keep justice local.

Should you have any questions in regards to the proposal and/or want to get involved in the campaign, please contact Kara.Priestley@Ramsdens.co.uk